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  • Congratulations to Zachary Burton of the Ikuma Lab on receiving the 2024 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Award! His proposed research for this fellowship is to investigate biological and environmental factors that influence microbial biofilms to exhibit strong metal corrosion inhibiting outcomes, and how they can be applied in the field. 

    Read more about the award below:

  • Congratulations to Lucy Jonas of the Schmitz-Esserr lab on her recent publication in Frontiers in Microbiology titled “Temporal changes in ewe vaginal microbiota throughout gestation"

    "[We are] happy to announce that our paper characterizing the ewe vaginal microbiota during pregnancy was recently published in Frontiers in Microbiology. We found that ewe vaginal microbiota differs in community structure and composition during the gestation period."

    Read more here:

    fmicb-15-1359678 (2).pdf

  • Zackry Stevenson received supplemental funding from the NSF in support of an internship at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to distinguish between mercury mobilized during recent wildfires and historical mining activities to determine the source of in-stream mercury to Napias Creek and tributaries through water samples. Moreover, they will test if wildfire-affected soils will lead to increased mercury mobilization, resulting in high levels of methylmercury in Napias Creek. Furthermore, they believe organic matter quality will influence the proportion of methylmercury to total mercury in these watersheds.


    Congratulations Zack!

  • Dr. Debarpan Dhar and Dr. Cathy Miller

    Recent (May 2023) Interdepartmental Microbiology graduate Debarpan Dhar from the Cathy
    Miller Lab recently published part of his doctoral work exploring the sequences required for
    gene segment packaging of mammalian orthoreoviruses in PLoS Pathogens. Congratulations

    Check out the article here:


  • Congratulations to Zackry Stevenson and Michelle Chamberlain of the Swanner lab for both receiving grants from the Itasca Biological Research Station’s Director’s Fellowship and John Tester Graduate Research Fund for their research in Deming Lake, Minnesota. Zak will be studying the effects of molybdenum on nitrogen fixation and Michelle will be studying how iron impacts the formation of a subsurface chlorophyll maximum layer.


  • Congratulations to Faith Rahic-Seggerman and the Schmitz-Esser Lab on their recent publication in the American Journal of Veterinary Medicine titled, Effects of diet on the bacterial and eukaryotic microbiota across the gastrointestinal tract of healthy rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)!

    "[We are] Pleased to announce that our paper describing the effects of diet on the gastrointestinal microbiota of healthy domestic rabbits was recently published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. We found that feeding hay had a significant effect on the beta diversity of the bacterial microbiota, but that there were only minor effects on the eukaryotic microbiota composition."

  • Congratulations to Zachary Burton of the Ikuma Lab on his recent co-authorship of the research article, Continuous co-treatment of mine drainage with municipal wastewater in the Journal of Environmental Management!

    In this publication, the authors investigate the efficacy and performance of continuous processing of acid-mine drainage (AMD) in a biological municipal waster water (MWW) treatment system. 

  • The laboratory of Dr. Gwyn Beattie was recently featured in an article by the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for their recent publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science titled, "Light cues induce protective anticipation of environmental water loss in terrestrial bacteria". 

    Check out the CALS article here, and access the publication at Congratulations to the Beattie Lab!

  • Dr. Kruttika S. Phadke

    Congratulations to Dr. Kruttika S. Phadke on recieving the Iowa State University Graduate College Research Excellence Award!

    This award, "recognize(s) graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments as documented in their theses and dissertations... (Recipients) are also expected to be academically superior and able not only to do research, but also to develop a well written product. The intent of this program is to recognize "the best of the best" graduating students who have submitted theses and dissertations."

  • Dr. Kruttika S. Phadke

    Congratulations to Dr. Kruttika S. Phadke on her successful defense!

    Her presentation was titled: "Pathogenesis of intracellular organisms". In it, she discussed methods to study pathogenesis and introduced a novel nano-therapeutic against intracellular pathogens like Select Agent Burkholderia psuedomallei and COVID-19 causative agent SARS-CoV-2. 

  • Binaya Raj Pandey

    First year Microbiology Ph.D. student Binayak Raj Pandey attended the finals of the 2023 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition organized by the Graduate College on November 9, 2023. He was selected as one of the 8 final-round participants among 8 heat zones from the graduate school. His presentation was titled "Fall into feul: A concept". Congratulations Binayak!

  • Hannah Watkins Pictured with Award

    Hannah Watkins was awarded 1st Place Graduate Oral Presentation at the 83rd annual meeting of the American Society of Microbiology North Central Branch held at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (November 2-3). Hannah’s presentation was titled “Targeted culturing and characterization of Prevotella from the swine gastrointestinal tract”. Congratulations Hannah!

  • Catherine Batchelder Speaks at WISE

    MGSO recently participated in the Fall 2023 Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) conference. During the conference highschoolers from all across Iowa participated in various science exercises. This year, MGSO taught the students about microbial ecology and made winogradsky columns. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to make the Fall 2023 WISE Conference such a success!

  • Congratulations to the Boury lab on being awarded multiple National Science Foundation grants! Details on the grants are outlined below:

  • PhD Candidate Marissa Roghair Stroud Headshot

    Marissa Roghair Stroud recently received a United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) Predoctoral Fellowship! Marissa is studying the genetics of maize microbiome formation in the lab of Dr. Larry Halverson. Her project is titled: “CRISPRi to identify Pseudomonas putida gene networks essential for rhizosphere microbiome assembly”

    Congratulations Marissa!

  • “Changing Colors and Understanding: The Use of Mutant Chromogenic Protein and Informational Suppressor Strains of Escherichia Coli to Explore the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.” Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

    Sarah DeWolf, of the Boury lab in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, recently published a first-author publication in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education titled, "Changing colors and understanding: the use of mutant chromogenic protein and informational suppressor strains of Escherichia coli to explore the central dogma of molecular biology".

  • Associate Professor Melha Mellata’s lab is developing a probiotic for chickens to help prevent salmonella outbreaks: Image by Christopher Gannon

    Dr. Melha Mellata and her lab's research on chicken probiotic development was recently featured in an article in the Fall 2023 edition of the Iowa Stater magazine. 

    Read the article here:

  • Michelle Chamberlain was recently awarded NASA’s Future Investigators in Earth Space Science and Technology (FINESST) grant to support her PhD work. Her proposal was “Life's Essential Elements: How Early Metal Availability Impacted the Nitrogen Cycle.” Over the course of three years Michelle will study how iron and molybdenum availability impact the nitrogen cycle in Archaean ocean analog Deming Lake alongside her advisor Elizabeth Swanner.

  • Dr. Mellata

    Dr. Melha Mellata, associate professor of molecular microbiology and IM Program Chair, was recently awarded a $635,000 grant from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture's Animal Health Program. 

    Over the next four years, Dr. Mellata's team aims to develop a probiotic for newly hatched chicks that inhibits salmonella proliferation. A keystone bacterium they want to apply in the probiotic is segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB). Chicks inoculated with SFB after hatching have been shown to fight off salmonella infections better than uninoculated chicks.

    Read more about the grant proposal in the CALS Research and Discovery Newsletter:

  • mendonca

    IM Faculty members Dr. Aubrey Mendonca and Dr. Byron Brehm-Stecher recently received the Exemplary Faculty Mentor Award. 

    "Iowa State's formal mentoring program was started in the late 1990's." "The Exemplary Faculty Mentor Award recognizes faculty mentors who go above and beyond the formal expectations of Iowa State's mentoring program."

    Read more at the link:

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